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Opinion

Lessons from Sir John Hall – Newcastle United owners properly communicating with fans is a no-brainer

5 months ago
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I was on YouTube last night and came across a clip of the Kevin Keegan press conference, on his second coming as Manager of Newcastle United.

However, it’s not that which I want to discuss, at least not on this occasion.

Whilst I was watching KK, a suggestion popped up, it was the Sir John Hall interview after the club sold Andy Cole to Man United.

Sir John Hall has been heavily criticised for selling the club to Mike Ashley in 2007.

A lot of supporters point the finger in his direction for his contribution to us being in the state of misery we’ve found ourselves in for the last 13 years.

One thing this video showed though…

It wasn’t just the ambition, the direction, or the next step the club were going to take after selling Cole, not just the fact the money from the sale would be re-invested in the team (and it was, the signing of Sir Les from QPR only months later, as well as Ginola, Hislop and Barton).

It was the communicating of all this to the fans of Newcastle United.

We weren’t kept in the dark, instead we got the ‘this is what we’ve decided to do and why and this is how we’re going to improve’ something that has been seriously lacking under the current stewardship of the club.

We see very little, we hear even less and it has added yet another layer to the fractious relationship between Mike Ashley and the club’s supporters.

That is one thing the new owners MUST get right.

They must communicate with the supporters.

Give an outline, explain the ambition, lay out an indication of where we are hopefully heading.

If they trip up and things don’t go exactly as they hoped, or decisions are made that we don’t 100% agree with, much like the sale of Cole to Man United all those years ago, then that happens and that’s football.

However, the communication, the transparency and the relationship that once helped the club rise before Mike Ashley descended on Tyneside, must be restored.

Hopefully, with that relationship back in place and proper communication with supporters, as a club we can rise again together.

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